Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Professor Rattus and Her Royal Court, A New Incognito Project Painting

Sitting all alone in my studio, smiling like crazy, that's what I've been up to as I worked on this painting. It's my daughter's alter-ego personality created for The Incognito Project portrait series. Meet Carly's pet fancy rats, Queenie on the left and Duchess on the right. The costume and personae are her own devices.
Professor Rattus and Her Royal Court, 24x18, oil on panel

This painting reminds me of what I love about this project. All things are possible when we put on different hats, as if we are still trying to decide what we want to be when we grow up. All things are possible in a world of imagination, even one where you have magical devices and adorable furry minions to do your bidding.

Carly is an illustrator, loves furry critters, owning them and drawing them. In fact Queenie and Duchess  came to live with Carly when her previous small, furry critter, a chinese hamster, Sunshine died. Sunshine is the star of Carly's children's book, Sunshine's Night Out

Sunshine's Night Out is available for purchase on Amazon. I think it's only a matter of time till Queenie and Duchess are too immortalized in a children's book.

This painting has a Steampunk attitude about it. Steampunk as an aesthetic movement refers to art, speculative fiction or a certain science fiction, music, or fashion that emphasizes technology from the Victorian era. For it's history think HG Wells, Mark Twain, Mary Shelley and Jules Verne. One of the earliest manifestations was the TV show from the 60's The Wild Wild West.

It's a fantastical view of the world as if the past were imagining a future using technology from the Victorian era. Examples of movies that have a Steampunk attitude are Steamboy, Wild Wild West, City of Lost Children, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

More info about fancy rats, (Rattus Norvegius), and the Steampunk aesthetic, Carly Strickland Art, and Carly's blog where she shares book reviews, views on pop cult and society and her illustration process. Here's a link to previous posts about The Incognito Project.


  1. Never knew about Steampunk! Love this painting and its whole vibe.

    And the rats are perfect. They are such smart loveable and fun pets and they get a bad rap. We had feeder rats for pets a while back (my son felt bad for them when his friend went to get food for his snake)…we ended up with 8 eventually. Anyway, Terry, this isn't my blog, its yours so I'll stop rat reminiscing.

    Terrific painting…as always! So much fun, fantasy, and soul all in one place.

  2. Thanks Judy, the rats won me over with their sweet dispositions and curious personalities.



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